Santuario di San Francesco di Paola
The Shrine of Saint Francis of Paola is located on the high area of Paola, the birthplace of St. Francis, patron Saint of Calabria. It’s a place of pilgrimage from all over the south of Italy, especially from Calabria. The Shrine was elevated to the rank of Minor Basilica in 1921. The main facade dominates a large square on the right of the main entrance, there is an arch through which youaccess from the side of the Shrine, where it will find the wide modern basilica (opened in 2000) and the "Source of Cucchiarella", where the pilgrims can drink. Continuing on, you enter the Devil's Bridge and a path to the end of which is the refuge of the Saint in his younger years. The interior has two semi-open environments: in the first there are different tombstones, dated between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries; the second is the real portico of the ancient basilica. The ancient basilica is in Romanesque style and dates back to the sixteenth century. It consists of a large main room, rather bare, and from one aisle to the right, along which there are four small chapels. The nave culminates with the lavish Baroque chapel that houses the relics of Saint Francis (clothes and bone fragments). In the cloister, with frescoed walls depicting the major events in the life of the Saint, are the Rose Garden and the hermitage, a set of narrow underground spaces that constituted the first nucleus of the monastery. Between the cloister and the ancient basilica stands the bell tower. In 2000, on the occasion of the Jubilee, was opened for worship a new liturgical hall designed by Sandro Benedetti.